New Delhi: At a time when India is going through the economic crisis and a rise in unemployment across sectors, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Gangwar has claimed that there were enough job opportunities in the country but the job seekers, especially from North India, are not eligible for as they lacked the qualifications.

Speaking to reporters, Gangwar said, “Desh mein rozgaar ki kami nahi hai. Humare Uttar Bharat mein jo recruitment karne aate hain is baat ka sawaal Karte hain ki jis padd (position) ke liye hum rakh rahe hain uski quality ka vyakti humein kum milta hai. (There is no dearth of job opportunities in the country. Those who come for recruitment in north India often complain that they are unable to find the quality in candidates required for the post they are hiring for)”.

Reacting sharply to his comments were Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati asked the minister to apologise. Besides Maywati, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed Gangwar for his controversial remarks.

“Mr. Minister, your government is more than 5 years old. Jobs were not born. No jobs were created during the tenure. The existing jobs have been lost due to the economic recession brought by the government. The youth are looking waiting for the government to take some positive steps. You want to escape by insulting the North Indians. It is unacceptable”, tweeted the Congress general secretary.

Earlier in May, the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) job survey for 2017-18 had released figures which showed India’s unemployment rate hit a 45-year high of 6.1 per cent in 2017. The report was rejected by the Narendra Modi-led government.